Travel System and Crib Recommendation for Infants

Updated on March 10, 2010
S.K. asks from Chicago, IL
12 answers

We are not sure whether to go with Graco or Chicco brands for travel system.Chicco seems to be more compact and light weight.Please let me know if you have used any of them (specific models) and recommend them. Also, what features you loved in yours? We are willing to spend more on this for safety reasons.We looked at some in babies R us , but there are so many choices in both these brands and it's very confusing!

Also, need help deciding on a crib. Any recommendations? I have heard many models have been recalled recently , so not sure if it would be safe to buy crib on craigslist.Also couple of my friends tell me that the baby generally ends up sleeping in the bed initially. Is it better to just get a sleeper for the baby instead? We have a queen size bed , so not sure if there will be enough space for a sleeper and both of us? Please share your opinions on what would be a better option.

Thanks a lot in advance!

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So What Happened?

Thanks everyone.You have been so helpful.From all the responses I think both Graco and Chicco are reliable and it will be a personal choice.I will mostly buy the one thats looks good and is lightweight and stroller fits in both our cars.

As for crib, I liked the arm's reach co-sleeper.I searched in this site and found a lot of people recommending it. I will also look into pack 'n' play and bassinets too.But I somewhat liked the idea of having the baby next to me but still not in the same bed. In other posts , some people have recommended buying a crib and removing one of sides and placing it next to the bed for co-sleeping.I am not sure if that would be safe though for the infant.

I now have more information to make a better decision. Thanks a lot.

More Answers



answers from Kansas City on

We got the Graco Pack 'n' Play with the bassinet, which worked really well for us. The changing table part is pretty worthless, we just changed her on a towel on the bassinet.

For cribs, I am ok with buying a used one, if it is sturdy and doesnt have a drop side (which seems to be the problem with most of the recalled ones) but you should definately buy a new mattress.



answers from Minneapolis on

If you shop at Babies R Us, they have the weights of everything listed on the displays. It was a few years ago when I was shopping, so I'm not sure if it's still true, but the Graco carseat was 1 1/2 pounds lighter (which can feel like a lot in addition to the weight of the baby!) and the Graco Metrolite stroller was 2 pounds lighter than the Chicco. That sold it for M. (along with the much cheaper price tag and the better rating on Consumer Reports-which also could have changed although I think Graco is still on top), and we have been really happy with our Graco. Also, depending on what type of vehicle you drive, compare how the strollers fold. Even an inch can make a difference in height or width if you are trying to fit it in a small trunk. One other thing is that, as of now, Chicco does not make a double stroller. I think there are some that are compatible, but if you think you might need a double stroller in the future, that might be something to consider. However, I do still like the look of the Chicco. I think you can't go wrong with either.

We found that there was not enough room for a sleeper between us in our queen bed. However, they do have sleepers that attach to the side of the bed. That might work for you. Personally, we used a bassinet and than moved our kids to their cribs at about 3 months old.

Good luck! Shopping is so much fun, but it can be so overwhelming!



answers from Minneapolis on

I know this is probably too late, but wanted to get in my 2 cents.....

I used the pack n play when our kids first came home from the hospital. I placed it right next to the bed and we used the upper bassinet portion for them to sleep on....I never saw the need to purchase the co-sleeper when this worked just as well.....

Good luck!!!



answers from Detroit on

We have the Chicco Cortina travel system and love it. DS is now 16-months old, and while we no longer use the Chicco Keyfit infant seat, we regularly use the stroller. All car seats are built to the same government safety standards, so you'll only find ratings based on ease of use. I'd suggest getting them off the shelf at your local store and practicing collapsing, opening, pushing, adjusting the straps, etc. with each model you're considering. We bought the Chicco after doing just this, finding it easier to use and adjust for the height difference between my husband and myself, and easier to use overall. I've painlessly taught both sets of grandparents how to install the Chicco Keyfit infant seat, which sold us because it has a level on each side to visually assist in knowing if the seat is properly installed.
I would advise against buying a crib on Craigslist. Although most of the recent recalls have been on drop side cribs, you'd feel most secure using a crib that you know the history of.



answers from St. Cloud on

A few things noone has mentioned on the Chicco- the weight starts at 4lbs (both my girls came home just above this so it was perfect for us) and come with its own head and body padding so you shouldn't buy any extra "support" for newborns inside the carseat. It is easy to get it on and off the base and stroller though it will take both hands. It doesn't fit into universal strollers, grocery carts (other car seats have a slit cut into the plastic underneath so they sit stable)...It has held up really well- is on the second babe in 3 years and is fairly easy to clean.

I know the MD and others will tell you not to cosleep and back to sleep. You will end up doing what works best for you and your family. Other moms you have talked to obviously did cosleep. We do a little as well. If you are breastfeeding it is a habit that is easy and convenient. Our lil girl goes to bed on her own with minimal fuss in a bassinett next to the bed. Because she is up two hours later to eat she comes to bed sidelying with M.. Then she sleeps for three hours and we flip to the other side another three hours later she eats again... to each his own. We have a queen size bed and I have a 6'2" almost 300lb hubby so we all three fit- if you fit all three while pg it should work right! :)

As for cribs, we bought both of ours as "lifetime" cribs that turn into full beds as kids grow. LOVE them- I think they were about 300 each but well worth it so we dont have to buy crib, toddler bed, twin bed, full bed...

Good luck!



answers from San Francisco on

We have 2 kids and when the 2nd one came along we went with a Graco DuoGlider. It has worked great for us for 17 mo and counting. Prior to that we had a jeep stroller and a Maclaren stroller (we still have this one and love it). You want to go with a lighter one that allows a good amount of weight so the child can grow with it, some have higher weight limits than others. Our 3 1/2 yr old is 44 lbs and just as tall but it still works for now. We use it daily for my walking.

For both of our kids we bought the convertible crib. Our son is in the toddler bed stage and getting ready to convert to the twin. Our daughter is still in the crib. We bought both bedroom sets from Babies R Us and they should be able to have the bedroom sets probably until they are reaching their teenage years and decide they want a room makeover.

Both our kids slept in a bassinet right next to my side of the bed. At 2 months they both were transitioned into their cribs and have slept their ever since. About once a month one of them will wake up early so we'll put them in our bed so we can get more sleep but let M. tell you, once they start moving around and crawling, you won't want them in your bed. When ever the kids are in our bed I only get about 1-2 of the king bed. They end up sideways in the middle. It is nice to sleep with your kids but its also nice to go to bed without them too. I know a few moms that haven't slept a night without their kid in their bed for 4 years, it could be a hard habbit to break once they get used to it. I would get a convertible crib that can transition with them over the years. They are very sturdy and you are only paying for a bed once. Just don't forget to buy the twin rails at the same time. Both times we bought the set the associates didn't mention them. I had to ask for it.



answers from Milwaukee on

Whatever you do - don't let the baby sleep in your bed! Too many deaths have occurred by people doing this. Use a bassinet initially if you can and have that in your room if you decide not to get a crib right away. Go to consumer reports for recommendations on cribs to compare them for safety. It's very overwhelming but if you spend some time doing research you will find the right one. All stores should post recalls so you know - ask questions at the store. It depends on Craigs list if you feel comfortable. I have purchased items from there for by daughter and never had any problems -it all depends on what you know to look for.



answers from Denver on

I remember how overwhelming it would be. I have had the Graco systems and loved them. Not experienced with Chicco. However, one really nice feature of Graco was in a pinch (you can strap the carrier directly into the car). Not sure if you can with Chicco. Also, check the weight on the carrier for each - they are heavy!!!

Regarding cribs, I bought a nice Sorelle convertible for my first (she's in the bed now at over 3 years old). However, for my son I opted for a crib from JC Penny. My learning - the Sorelle is fine, but overpriced. The convertible cribs are also overrated. I was totally impressed with the furniture from JC Penny. I like it better than the solid maple really expensive Sorelle set.

I would however invest in a good baby mattress - at a specialty store.

You are right, babies don't sleep in the crib right away. Mine were in by 6 weeks however. Before that they were in a co-sleeper in our room. That is a personal choice, but as you mentioned, get a place for the baby to protect him/her from getting smoothered if he/she is in your bed.

Overall, go for quality, but don't overdo. My recommendations... check out JC Penny for cribs/furniture (forgo Pottery barn etc) and go with Graco... it's a good dependable, safe and solid product.




answers from Washington DC on

For carseat/stroller, I'd go with a Graco carseat, and a Graco stroller frame, where the carseat sits down into the frame. They are very light weight and compact.

I had a Graco travel system both times and the strollers are very heavy. They wouldn't even fit into one of our car trunks.

Then when the baby outgrows the carseat, buy a lightweight stroller. I have one just stays in my trunk.

For cribs, I have the Carter's convertible lifetime crib. Got it after my original Jardine one had been recalled. It's worked well for us and was about $350.




answers from Des Moines on

I had the Graco Quattro stroller for my son and thought it was a good quality system. I never really compared to the Chicco system at the time (4 years ago) however. I refer to it as the "mall" stroller as it's perfect for that sort of trip -- cupholders, lots of storage under the seat, easily adjustable seat for naps, etc. Downsides are that it is quite large and a bit heavy. I have a hatchback, so that wasn't a big problem for M., plus I'm tall and appreciate not having to stoop over to reach the handles on a stroller. The Graco carseat is very easy to use, adjust, etc. and gets high safety ratings.

Re the crib: I think a carseat and a crib are the two purchases that you should try to make new if you can. It's just too hard to keep up on recalls and you never know what someone else has done to them (lost parts, modifications, etc.) We didn't want to spend a lot on a crib either and ended up just searching online until we found something we liked in the $100-200 range. Check out and; I think they have free shipping. We also used a co-sleeper (the arm's reach mini), which I highly recommend if you're going to have the baby in your room. You don't have to worry about rolling onto baby, but they're right there which makes waking up the third time in a night just a little less painful!



answers from Dallas on

I've tested out Graco, Evenflo, and Safety 1st travel systems and Evenflo wins hands down. The ease of use as well as the twisted handle on the infant carrier made my decision for M.. Out of your two choices, though, I really don't have a vote...thought I would throw in my 2 cents. :)

As far as cribs go, I can give you a name NOT to buy: Da Vinci. I paid WAY too much ($6-700) for the 'top of the line' Da Vinci crib 5 years ago only to have a piece break on the drop gate that I was never able to get a replacement part for. Customer service for the company is horrible so we ended up having to use a zip tie (oh so classy). I'd stick with an American made crib, they seem to last longer and have better customer satisfaction rates.



answers from Milwaukee on

We love our Chicco travel system and three of our friends actually have one also. The infant carrier has additional padding that accomodates small babies (mine were both pretty tiny) and the straps are easy to adjust. The stroller is also easy to fold and use.

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